A sweeter future for bee farmers

AK8ONIX9Whilst tuning into the BBC’s Great Comic Relief Bakeoff last week I was interested to hear about TREE AID and their honey project in Ghana.

TREE AID supports villagers to produce and market honey so that they can generate income to provide their families. The villagers are encouraged to farm bees during the dry months when there is little else to harvest. The honey is collected at night when the bees are more drowsy from hives placed in suitable trees. Funds raised by TREE AID, along with Comic Relief, will provide suits to protect from bee stings enabling the farmers to extract the honey safely.

Forest honey is produced across the world, from the eucalypt honeys of Australia to the acacia honeys of the Ukraine. A quick look on CAB Abstracts reveals over 450 papers on honey as a non-wood forest product. Some interesting papers include:

Paumgarten, F.; Kassa, H.; Zida, M.; Moeliono, M.; 2012. Benefits, challenges, and enabling conditions of collective action to promote sustainable production and marketing of products from Africa's dry forests. Review of Policy Research, 29, 2: 229-250.

Shackleton, S.; Paumgarten, F.; Kassa, H.; Husselman, M.; Zida, M.; Pottinger, A. J.; Mwangi, E.; 2011. Opportunities for enhancing poor women's socioeconomic empowerment in the value chains of three African non-timber forest products (NTFPs). International Forestry Review, 13, 2: 136-151.

TREE AID works to unlock the potential of trees in dryland regions Africa and has further projects in the following countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, and Niger.

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